We had the good fortune of connecting with Richard Podgurski Jr and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Richard, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
To be honest i don’t really agree with the traditional “process” of starting a business. Between DJ’ing for 20 years and photography for the past 8, both of those businesses evolved from passion projects. Once you do spend close to 1000 hours doing these hobbies, you can now then morph them into monetized products. You also have to see no end to your idea. As in, you can see it evolving to infinity, and growing past your wildest dreams. If you can envision a moment where growth can no longer happen, then it’s really not worth decades of commitment and the lions share of your time. I’m really big into automating processes and the divide and conquer technique. I recently started a podcast with a friend that’s called “I Dunno Dude” where not only am I the host, but I handle most of the production and infrastructure. I launched everything myself on all platforms, and charted 68th in the US at one point in less than 50 episodes. I created a frictionless process from content creation to distribution, all by the way of spreading the work load around with various services and work flow until the final product is released. With photography, its a whole other monster, but there’s still work flows and commerce tricks, that can take away a ton of tedious micromanaging. I also don’t like to show your cards to early. I don’t like releasing unfinished products, that don’t have a clear and concise path to be consumed by your potential clients. Long story short, a business isn’t born from an idea, it’s born from a proven process that has unlimited potential, that you absolutely LOVE doing.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being a DJ for 20 years felt like a scam almost. I was literally mixing other peoples art, while standing on stage thinking I’m cool for the type of energy somebody else’s song creation was doing to people. Dont get me wrong, DJ’ing has a skill and a very concise process of its own to be unique and entertaining, but you don’t own any of it. It’s not yours. But photography, its 100% your own. You are the sole creator. You own the intellectual property. With that finite resource alone, you can go in any direction you please with your body of work. Im a big fan of a number of photographers locally and abroad, and I’m yet to find a great photographer that is like any other. Yes, there can be the same “theme” to ones art, but those milliseconds in time I capture, or anybody else captures, are unique snippets of time that will never ever happen again, or can ever be replicated. The concept of freezing time, forever, before it disintegrates into a forgotten existence, fascinates me. Then after I capture a frame I’m in love with, I continue to dial in that visual story, until its translated into a language that sparks an emotional connection. Hypnotizing somebodies mind into a day dream, is the ultimate end game. The hard part is getting people to see it, to give them that chance to connect. Thats where the marketing and business aspect plays into it all. People are only a fan of your work, if they know about you. It’s not about knowing me as a person, its all about knowing my style of art exists, that you’d love so much, you’d have it custom framed as the centerpiece of your living space. The amount of physical pieces that I’ve translated from digital consumption, to physical art on a wall, is now vast, and growing every year. Seeing a personal masterpiece on your phone or computer is very frustrating as an artist. Seeing an image at the size and scale its meant to be enjoyed, really transforms your connection with the art.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a best friend came to Manhattan, we wouldn’t leave the coast. There’s countless things to see, explore and experience. I grew up in Hermosa Beach that is a stones throw from where I currently have my creative studio. I know the area really well and have a ton of friends to visit and hang with. I like to float around most of my “off days” like a feather. Waves? Lets surf. Hungry? We have it all. Activities? You name it, we can do it. Wanna come to my Friday night DJ gig in Santa Monica and dance on top of bottle services tables with drunk college students? lets go. Im really into just going with the flow and bettering the day and night. But usually around sunset time is when I become really keen to the weather. You never want to miss that epic sunset. Never. I feel like I’ve become pretty good at predicting if a sunset will pop off or not. Its become a 6th sense. Weather is everything when experiencing a city, then all your plans just fall into place.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s really hard for me to pinpoint a source of inspiration for any of my endeavors. Most of my interests come from good friends, or off shoots of other hobbies, and the thirst for more knowledge about everything. But id have to say I really enjoy listening to informational based podcasts, that focus on various topics. Like “How I Built This” or “Freakanomincs” all the way down to Adam Carolla and Joe Rogan. I also like insane stories about hacking and crypto currencies. I feel like you can pull inspiration from anywhere, as long as you are giving yourself a solid flow of ingestible content that really piques your interest.
Other: Podcast: www.IDunnoDude.com
Richard Podgurski Jr